How to fight the fright

How stage fright affects athletes and performers differently


GlenOak football team faces Shaker Heights during the first football game of the season with a full crowd present. Students have had to get used to performing and playing in front of crowds after a year and a half of limited attendance.

Mikayla Hairston, Feature/Podcast Editor

Some choose to perform by waiting for the curtain to open, feeling exhilarated by the cheering audience and loud music. Others choose to be on the field, competing against other people and striving for the gold. 

But there is one thing in common between all of these people that lurks in the background of our minds.

Stage fright. 

Stage fright is very common amongst all performers, whether it be nerves before going on stage or before going onto the field.

Gabby Buckley, a sophomore at GlenOak, has been running ever since she was little, but to this day, she still finds it challenging to make her anxiety butterflies go away.

“Honestly I don’t really deal with my nerves very well before races. I stress out,

get hot and make a lot of ‘what if’ statements in my head,” Buckley said.

Everyone deals with stage fright differently. Some do not even really feel it at all, like junior Kennedy McGuire, who plays tennis and does not get nervous as often as others.

“I don’t really get nervous before games because I feel confident in what I’m doing, but when I do I take huge deep breaths and count to 10 before I go on,” McGuire said. 

Some who are involved in both the arts and sports believe there are different types of fears when it comes to being in front of an audience versus against an opponent.

“When preparing for a performance, you already know what will happen and how

it will end. When playing a sport, each game is unknown. You never know who will win or how it will turn out,” sophomore Hannah Conley said.

Altogether, each of these athletes have their own ways of dealing with the butterflies they get in their stomach before performing in their own way.

“Honestly, what has helped me most about getting rid of fear is just ignoring it,” sophomore Janiya Foster said. “It’s as if I almost channel [that fear] and convert it into adrenaline that goes into my singing and performing that I do.” 

Taking deep breaths, converting fear into adrenaline and staying focused were all examples of strategies these performers do on their game day basis.

“I’ve been running ever since early elementary school, and I feel that I’ve been able to maintain my nerves a little bit better because I’ve found ways to kind of calm myself down,” Buckley said. “I feel like when I first started cross country I felt so nervous all of the time, but now, with time, I’ve found a way to finally have fun.”

Everyone has their own ways of dealing with fright, but overall, students advise others to let time pass and carry their worries away.